Monday, June 29, 2015

Cool Creativity

      It's been rainy and cool here lately - ridiculously so in my opinion.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Easy to Start - Harder to Stop

On Saturday we saddled up Old Paint, (otherwise known as Lily, our 18-year-old SUV) with the bikes and took off for the town of Chicopee.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Starts and Stops

I’m leaving in an hour for my first real golf game of the season – although I’ll be surprised if my friends and I make it past nines holes. The course we play closely resembles a stroll up Lombard Street in San Francisco. We arrive at a couple of the holes (after climbing rises so steep that we must push our carts ahead of us with arms practically over our heads)  so winded that there’s actually a pause in the conversation.

          Two years ago I decided that as a new retiree the next logical step was to take up golf. My game is pretty much unchanged from the first time I ever put a tee in the ground but I’ve gained two new friends and adventures that included New York’s Russian Tea Room; Boynton Beach, Florida; and a road trip to Venice, Florida.

          Yesterday I “graduated” from a writing workshop I’ve been attending for the past two years. I began unsure of what I was doing there other than scouting for something else to fill my new-found retirement freedom. I met some more new friends there and I’ve now settled comfortably into the blog world, not to mention starting my third book. I’d say that venture was a success.


          The latest news is that my first book, Earthly Needs is now available at Amazon in paperback. If War and Peace seems a bit too heavy to manage at the beach, this may be just the thing

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Mazel Tov!

         In spite of knowing exactly two people (mom and dad of the bride) at this weekend’s wedding, we had a delightful evening. It took place on a breezy warm summer evening at a restaurant on the edge of the water in Westport Connecticut. We really enjoyed how different this Jewish service was from previous weddings we’ve been to. I learned later that depending on whether the couple is Orthodox or Conservative or some other denomination, the family has a fair amount of latitude to incorporate whichever cultural and spiritual elements they wish. 

          First of all, it was a small wedding, certainly under 100 people. We arrived and were guided around the building to where chairs were set up on the lawn facing a simple chuppah, a canopy supported by four poles, which in a Jewish ceremony symbolizes the home the couple will build together. What a lovely idea. 

          The other ladies and I did our part to help out the facility’s groundspeople as we aerated the lawn with every step of our heels. There’s a real art to getting across a spongy lawn in heels – if you’re not careful, your heel will plunge down into the soft earth, tipping you back and then requiring you to yank up your foot like a toilet plunger. A useful workout for the calves. 

          Once we were settled in our white chairs facing the bay, we all stood up as the parents of the bride both escorted her together to meet her waiting groom. Instead of being shuffled off to sit with everyone else, both parents – and the mother of the groom – stood with the couple throughout the ceremony. 

          I was unable to see much since we were in the very back, but I could make out the bride circling the groom several times. I did a little research and learned that this is to symbolize righteousness, kindness, and justice, the virtues of marriage. There was also general laughter when the rabbi instructed the groom to break the glass, saying it would be the last time he’d be able to put his foot down. Before long the ceremony was over and we all called Mazel Tov! 

          We nibbled appetizers while looking out over the sunny bay but then grabbed our drinks and headed inside as a storm swept toward us. Before too long we all found our tables and were chatting with our dinner companions when the DJ struck up Hava Nagila and the entire room piled onto the dance floor. People sang and circled in the Horah left and right and back and forth regardless of age or talent. They had the stupid Electric Slide and Chicken Dance beaten by a mile.

          There was the usual dinner and speeches, but then before I knew it, the bride and groom were on chairs, hoisted up and danced around the room, as were the parents of the bride. 

          This was one fun evening. I may begin a new career crashing Jewish weddings.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Reluctant Fashionista

Today we’re off to a wedding, an event that has caused me to stop and think.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Morning Drama

     I arrived at the YMCA this morning, happy that for once I was on time for my water aerobics class.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Alternate Universe Addendum

        In the post below I mentioned my son's third-floor deck that he had built at the top of his very tall three-family in Providence. 
        He just sent me a sample of last night's sunset and I thought you might enjoy it. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Alternate Universe

We had dinner Sunday night with our long-lost son and his (fingers crossed hopefully on my part) fiancĂ©. Long-lost because he lives barely an hour and a half away in Providence, Rhode Island, so of course we’ve only seen him once since Christmas.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

50 / 50

Last night we attended what for me was a new phenomenon. Our nephew and his wife recently announced their pregnancy and they held an event for the family known as a Gender Reveal. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

The Gravity of Age

          I’m balancing on one leg, one foot lifted off the floor of my YMCA shower cubicle, hoping to slip my size 10 hoof through the first circle of my underpants without getting the elastic wet.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Going Cold Turkey

Last fall we said a final goodbye to Satchel, our eighteen-year-old black cat. He was arguably one of our favorite pets, more of a dog in a cat suit than anything else. He was certainly the only cat we’d ever had who would play fetch. 

          We are now in unfamiliar territory – the land of the petless. Since my husband tends to stay rooted in his recliner, there is now no one to run to the door when I return home. My clothes are strangely fur-free, and the twin odors of cat litter and Friskies tuna no longer waft through the house. When I hear an odd noise I actually have to pay attention instead of dismissing it as my sixteen-pound cat thumping around upstairs. 

          Now when I visit friends with pets, they probably wonder why they’ve bothered to invite me at all since their animals get more attention than they do. Molly, the giant Newfoundland; Shultzie, the miniature dachsound; Blue, my son’s skittish cat – whoever they are – big or small – as long there’s fur, when I leave they’re a bit worse for the wear. Most rewarding of all are my daughter’s cats, Marvin and Dusty, who bear a strong resemblance to the cat in the Peanuts cartoon. They drape themselves over you like so much Spanish moss. 

          We had planned to swoop into the local animal shelter this spring and bring two more cats home to what is unquestionably Cat Heaven. However, we will likely be away for some of next year, beginning with a two to three-day road trip.
     I do recall seeing other cars with a cat stretched below the back
window dozing blissfully, but the more likely scenarios for us are an animal ricocheting around the vehicle like a furry icon in a video game and/or two people with clenched jaws, whose faces match their gray hair, the result of being trapped in a car with the unending complaints – and emissions – of an unhappy pet in a carrier. 

          So now I’m spending way too much time watching cat videos, I wait anxiously for news about Albert at Going Gently (don't even get me started on Winnie), I melt at pictures of Eli at Henny Penny Lane, I look forward to what Chance is up to at Far Side of Fifty , and of course I've hit the motherload at Knatolee's World , where she's apparently preparing to build an ark. 
        Meanwhile, the moles have turned the front lawn into their own personal Disneyworld, and the chipmunks in the yard are closing in, now that my mighty hunters are gone.